Hello French Market friends,
Tonight most sport fans in Cape Town will be watching the Springboks playing in Twickenham tonight. This is a pre-cursor international match to the Rugby World Cup, that will take place in France next month. It will be a foretaste of some exciting games.
For all of you rugby fans who have not booked their air tickets to France to watch the games then please note that the opening World Cup Match on 8th of September will be screened live at the Alliance Francaise du Cap from 19h30, located at 155 Loop Street. You can wear your national colours and support your favourite teams. There will be French wines available at the event and some snacks for supporters to enjoy.
In our cheese range this week we are seeing a continuing demand for Raclette cheese as the weather is so cold and wet outside, this is a perfect cheese to melt and serve over some boiled potatoes accompanied by some crunchy cornichons and thin sliced prosciutto.
Back in stock are the popular, locally made, Saucisson sec, we have the plain traditional ones and we have the truffle flavoured ones.
This week in our shop, in our fresh produce range, we have received a new stock of violet artichokes. They are such a treat as they are quite delicate in texture compared to the larger globe artichokes. I boiled a couple this week, which I served with a plain mayonnaise dip and they tasted amazing.
There are certain unique foods produced in France which I enjoy. One of these is the green lentils from Puy. These are my favorite lentils because they have a slight peppery flavour, they don’t go mushy when cooked and they make me feel healthy because they are rich in protein. Their uniqueness comes from the valley where they have been grown since pre-Roman times, Le-Puy-en-Velay in the Haute Loire, which has a microclimate with low humidity due to the surrounding old volcanoes. They are naturally cultivated without extra watering or fertilisers. Unlike other lentils, their skin is very thin due to the lack of humidity, so they do not need to be soaked beforehand. Smaller than most lentils, their colour is a dark green to steel blue due to anthocyanin, a pigment, which is also present in blueberries and red grapes. Because their uniqueness is due to their place of origin, they are certified both AOC and AOP.
There are lots of recipes for Puy Lentils, both hot and cold. This week I decided to do a really simple country dish with Puy Lentils, fresh herbs, grated Parmigiano Reggiano and medium soft eggs (oeufs mollet). See recipe below. Pair with a light Bordeaux Petite Sirene Rouge.
Wishing you an enjoyable weekend.
Suzanne and The French Market Team